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BERLUSCONI

Berlusconi welcomes ‘obvious’ Trump comparisons

Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian Prime Minister has welcomed comparisons between himself and US president-elect Donald Trump, in an interview published on Saturday.

Berlusconi welcomes 'obvious' Trump comparisons
Spot the difference? Photo: Timothy Clary, Tiziana Fabi/AFP
While Italian comedians have jumped at the chance to mock the similarities between the two gaffe-prone, orange skinned, questionably-coiffed businessmen-turned-politicians, Berlusconi himself pointed to other common traits they share.
   
“There are some obvious similarities, even though my story as an entrepreneur is very different to Trump's, who I've never met,” Berlusconi, who was known as a media mogul and president of AC Milan football club before entering politics in 1994, told Corriere della Sera.
   
He could also have mentioned that the tax affairs of both men — dubbed Trumposconi by Italian comedians — have come under scrutiny.
   
Berlusconi came to power on the back of voter discontent with the established order as the 'Mani Pulite' (clean hands) corruption affair of the early 1990s implicated many leading politicians from the country's five governing parties.
   
The Italian, who turned 80 earlier this year, said that likewise Trump “was elected by all Americans weary of an old political order” that is “insular” and has become “unable to listen or understand”.
   
That order had made a “mistake typical of all the left (-wing parties) around the world” in “thinking that being 'politically correct' is the way to become close to the people, without understanding that the true weak are the citizens overwhelmed by the state, taxes, bureaucracy, uncontrolled immigration, unemployment, the terrorist danger”.
   
He added: “That's the same in America as it is in Italy and in Europe.”    
 
While Italy's centre-left prime minister Matteo Renzi publicly declared his support for Democrat Hillary Clinton prior to the US election, Berlusconi, who claims to be a “liberal and popular centrist”, has refused to comment on his preference either before or since Republican Trump won the race to succeed Barack Obama.
   
“Americans have chosen Donald Trump, now let him go to work… Presidents are judged on what they do,” said Berlusconi, who served as prime minister in four governments.

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CANNES

Berlusconi scandal mill inspires another film

Italy's three-time premier and billionaire Silvio Berlusconi continues to provide ample entertainment fodder, with the first English-language film about his scandal-filled life now in the works.

Berlusconi scandal mill inspires another film
Photo: AFP

Based on a journalistic expose, “The Marquise” by Emmy-nominated US producer Steve Jones will focus on a dubious property deal involving Berlusconi's mansion on a privately owned island, trade magazine Variety reported Saturday.

Jones told Variety he would travel to Italy next month to scout for locations and meet actors and potential directors.

The project is the latest of several films on the 81-year-old media mogul who staged a surprise political comeback in 2017.

It comes as Oscar-winner Paolo Sorrentino's lavish biopic “Loro”, about the tycoon's infamous “bunga bunga” party era, is about to hit the screens in Italy.

The two-part movie failed to make it into this year's Cannes selection.

Back in 2006, Nanni Moretti's Berlusconi satire “The Caiman” became one of Italy's most successful films that year.

READ ALSO: Italy court lifts ban on Berlusconi running for public office: report